Baron Prévost’s Sèvres porcelain mantel clock
A Charles X gilt and painted
Sèvres porcelain mantel clock – circa 1828-1830
Royal Sèvres porcelain factory
Designed by Jean-Charles Leloy (1774-1846) and the central plaque depicting painting on porcelain by Antoine Béranger (1785-1867)
Signed on the reverse of the central plaque Leguillier 1828 for Jean-Charles Leguillier (active at Sèvres as a répareur, 1812-1848)
Height: 61 cm. (24 in.) Width: 23 cm. (9 in.) Depth: 20 cm. (8 in.)
The silvered bronze dial has three chapter rings indicated by gold hour and minute hands and a blued steel sweep second hand. Three subsidiary dials indicate the phases of the moon, days of the week and month and the months of the year. With a pin-wheel escapement, blade suspension and compensating pendulum. Strikes the hours and half-hours by means of a count-wheel mounted on the back-plate.
This complex movement is unusual for this type of clock, most of them only indicate the hours and minutes.
Commissioned by the Vicomte de La Rochefoucauld, minister for the Arts to Charles X on 25 March 1828 as a gift to the diplomat and secretary to the King, Achille, Baron Prevost (1782-1855), delivered on 31 March 1830.
Baron Prévost (1782-1855) was a diplomat close to Talleyrand, maître de requêtes to the Council of State and secretary of the King’s Cabinet, created Baron by Charles X, under whom he was Chancellor of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
This clock was conceived from the beginning as a gift for Prévost in recognition of his services by the vicomte de La Rochefoucauld, aide-de-camp to Charles X and his directeur des beaux-arts. Painted to depict The application of paint to porcelain, it was named from its inception ‘Prévost’s Clock’ (la pendule de Mr Prévost). With Rochefoucauld’s order accepted on 25 March 1828, the factory clearly took a long time executing it as the first preparatory drawings by Jean-Charles Leloy (1774-1846) and the project for the figure of the central plate by Béranger do not date until August of the following year.
When the clock was finally finished, it entered the magasin de vente on 26 March 1830, and with its owner obviously impatient to take possession, it left five days later, valued at 1,500 francs.